December 14, 2006

Best of 2006, Part Four: Some Other Good Stuff

And then there's the music that doesn't fit in any easy category, or falls in between other categories! These are some pretty good records, if I do say so myself. Check 'em out!

The Everyothers Pink Sticky Lies: This five song EP was a blast of glam wrapped in bubblegum=pop. It promised much, but the band suddenly broke up a few weeks ago, which is a real shame, because this EP was such a wonderful record. Still, going out on a high note has its merits, and it's best to remember them as being awesome. (Kill Rock Stars)
Listen To: Various Tracks

Nellie McKay: Pretty Little Head: It's hard to understand why McKay's label hated this record. It's also not hard to understand why they frowned upon releasing it as-is. But as frustrating as it all may be--it really shouldn't have been a two-disc set--the excellence of the music more than makes up for it being self-indulgent tripe. But the aesthetic issues with the label weren't the real issue here--it was a question of artistic control--and Columbia wound up losing a great artist. McKay is the Cyndi Lauper for the indie-yuppie set, and her song with Cyndi was a real highlight. (spinART)

Mute Math Mute Math: Frantic rock music with a definite hint of new wave, but what else do you expect from a band with a lead singer who sounds eerily enough like Sting? They're like a more melodic Les Savy Fav, which makes things even more interesting. Emo? No. Christian rock in denial? that as it may, this band's all about the live show, as they simply go insane on stage. Really. Go to YouTube and see for yourself. (Telepromt)
Listen To: Various Tracks

Aberdeen What Do I Wish For Now?: A band that didn't really exist until after it came back from a five-year break-up, this compilation documents this underrated LA indie-pop band, and it's a surprisingly strong album--stronger, perhaps, than the band's debut album released at the turn of the century. That second Sarah EP is pure pop perfection, too. (LTM Recordings)
Various Tracks

Harper Lee: He Holds a Flame: Keris Howard says goodbye? In interview, he suggested that this excellent EP was the final Harper Lee release. Whether it is or not, remains to be seen. "He Holds a Flame" is Howard's finest musical statement, so if it is indeed the end, it's a mighty high note to end with. The other songs on the EP are all of a higher quality, too. (Matinee Recordings_

The Elected: Sun, Sun, Sun: Rilo Kiley's Blake Sennett steps out once again, and comes up with this wonderful, sun-baked LA rock record. Country- and Folk-rock has rarely sounded this pleasant; it sounds like a lost Laurel Canyon treasure, or, perhaps, the best early 70s solo Crosby, Stills, and Nash record that never came to pass? A haughty sentiment on my part, yes, but it's not without merit. (Sub Pop)
Listen To: Various Tracks

Sparta Threes: El Paso-based rock band comes back and comes on strong with their third album. Filled with loud, overwhelmingly big guitars and some of Jim Ward's best singing to date, it's a powerful, in-your-face rock record that doesn't sound at all as bad as those who hated on Sparta back in the day would have lead you to believe. (I am, of course, speaking of myself.) (Hollywood Records)
Listen To Various Tracks

Pants Yell! Recent Drama: This record really charmed me on first listen, what with its hand-clapping and wonderful pop crunch, and the love hasn't really ceased. I mentioned the name Aztec Camera in comparison, and I stick by that. The American indiepop scene was kind of quiet this year, but this album was a definite highlight. (Asaurus)
Listen To: Various Tracks

Dani Siciliano Slappers: This record really contained a nice element of "..and the kitchen sink" to it. Imagine a nice mixture of jazz, pop, electronica, and all other sorts of musical genres thrown together into one big, healthy stew, topped off with some deliciously breathy, seductive singing. Sold yet? I know I was. (!K7 Records) Listen To: Various Tracks

Ester Drang: Rocinate: This Oklahoma trio really turned up the trippy arrangements and the mellow rock for this, their third album, which was a vast improvement from their previous record, the disappointing Infinite Keys. The mellowness was mixed together with string arrangements and orchestrations, and the effect created a nice, stoned-out haze.(Jade Tree)
Listen To: Various Tracks

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